Governor Pritzker signs two bills designed to help children separated from their parents

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker signed two bills on Tuesday designed to help children who are separated from their parents.

"The State of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump's attacks on our immigrant communities, said Governor Pritzker.

One law places kids with chosen guardians if their parents are detained or deported by ICE..

"In our state, parents will decide who will take care of their children if they are detained or deported, not ICE, customs or border patrol," said State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz D-Glenview.

The Gad Hill Center in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood provides services for immigrant families.

Months ago, it began collecting information from parents about their chosen guardian for their children in case families were separated.

"We have in our records the name, driver's license and every identification necessary in order to make sure that the children have somebody safe to go to in case families are separated by deportation," said the center's CEO, Maricela Garcia.

The second piece of legislation signed into law Tuesday, creates a pathway for undocumented youth who have experienced trauma to secure residency.

The state will provide special immigrant juvenile visas for children who have been abused or neglected.

Immigration lawyers say the two new laws will make a complicated legal process more fair and accessible for vulnerable immigrant children.
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